The National University of Singapore (NUS) Engineering Class of ’74 celebrated their 40th anniversary by raising over S$400,000 for bursaries for NUS Engineering students in financial need. Of the funds raised, the Class contributed over S$250,000 to establish the ’74 Engineering Bursary Fund.
The Class organising committee incorporated a fundraising element in their celebrations as they wanted to do something meaningful above and beyond experiencing the nostalgia, joy and excitement of meeting up with classmates at the reunion.
“It was a good opportunity for me and other friends from the Class of ’74 to get together to see how we could not only have a reunion, but a meaningful one whereby we would raise funds for a worthy cause. I believe that contributing towards a bursary for needy Singaporeans and permanent residents to study Engineering at NUS is just a small way in which we can give back to society and remember our alma mater,” Mr Tang Kin Fei (’74), Group President & CEO of Sembcorp Industries, who was co-chair of the committee, says.
Mr Tang, who was recently conferred the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award 2014, hopes that the Class of ’74 Engineering Bursary will spur more youths to take up the subject. He also believes that both NUS and the Mechanical Engineering course he majored in laid the foundation for his future success.
Mr Moses Lee (’74), Chairman of Sentosa Development Corporation, who led the Class of ’74 organising committee adds, “Most of us benefited from the many opportunities available to us in the form of good careers in the public and private sectors, as well as in setting up successful business ventures. We should now do our part to help needy engineering undergraduates ease their financial burden. I must add that it was not difficult to get our classmates to open their hearts and wallets to support this cause.”
During the celebrations, alumni also had the opportunity to reminisce about their days at the University. The Engineering Faculty then was in a shared campus with the Singapore Polytechnic at Prince Edward Road. “Facilities were very spartan and there were hardly any amenities for us to mingle and socialise in after lectures. But we had the benefit of many illustrious and colourful professors who made up for the lack of amenities, many of whom we remembered very fondly,” Mr Lee says.
He and his classmates also recall looking forward to the Orientation week and Rag and Flag which were great fun and brought about priceless memories.
Sharing his thoughts on giving, Mr Tang expresses, “I believe that contributing back to society is part and parcel of what makes life – what we do, what we have – meaningful. It is something that everyone can do, not just through philanthropy but in many other ways, be it in contributing our skill and time, or even contributing to the economic and social development of the communities in which we live through our various professions and jobs. I hope to play a small part in helping others, especially the needy, enjoy the same benefits.”
“I see our Class of ’74 Bursary as a lasting and tangible legacy of our desire to support the needy engineering students in our midst and ensure that they can experience a well-rounded university education. I hope that it will serve to inspire other graduation classes to do the same for their community,” Mr Lee concludes.
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